A star SoulCycle instructor is accused of throwing a kiwi across the room in a fit of rage, as some insiders describe a belittling and inappropriate work culture

  • Business Insider's report last week thatdetailed multiple accusations against SoulCycle triggered other former employees and past riders to share their stories, including new accusations of racial discrimination and sexually inappropriate behavior.
  • You can read our full story here.

After Business Insider's recent report, which detailed multiple accusations against SoulCycle — including that top instructors had sex with clients, "fat-shamed" workers, and used homophobic and racist language — other former employees and past riders came forward to share their stories, including new accusations of racial discrimination and sexually inappropriate behavior.

But many said they felt the company protected star instructors despite their demeaning and sometimes egregiously bad behavior, and described the workplace culture as belittling and toxic.

SoulCycle's top-tier talent was untouchable, insiders said. During Lauren Zuckerman's first week at the Tribeca location, where she was a front-desk staffer and key holder, she was tasked with picking up a snack from Whole Foods for Laurie Cole, one of the company's most sought-after instructors.

"She has this specific thing she needs to have before her class, and it's a fruit salad, and it has to have berries. Just berries. And a black iced tea," Zuckerman said. Unbeknown to Zuckerman, lying at the bottom of the bowl was a single slice of kiwi. "Laurie threw it across the room and she said, 'Whoever got this needs to be fired."

Some star instructors had little regard for the studio staffers, people said. Zuckerman said that Akin Akman, a former SoulCycle instructor, who has 67,000 Instagram followers, publicly shamed her one day for eating pizza at the studio.

"He put me on his Instagram story, and he said something like, 'Oh, my gosh, I just walked into SoulCycle — don't do this. This is not SoulCycle,'" Zuckerman, who was then a manager, recalled.

"He definitely made people feel bad if they weren't up to his standards," she said.

Brown said that Rique Uresti, a popular instructor who teaches in New York, barely spoke with front-desk workers at the West Village location.

"If you were between him and where he wanted to go, he would walk through you," Brown said. "He would spit his gum on the floor. He would drop his headset and microphone on the floor, which damaged the equipment."

When we asked for comment, Uresti replied in an email: "With all due respect if this is journalism for you, ild [sic] consider digging deeper."

In a statement to Business Insider, SoulCycle said:

"At SoulCycle, our priority has always been to build a community centered on our core values of diversity, inclusion, acceptance and love. When we receive complaints or allegations related to behavior within our community that does not align with our values, we take those very seriously and both investigate and address them. We are committed to continuing to make improvements and ensuring that we live up to the values that our teams and riders expect of us."

The other instructors named in this article did not respond to requests for comment.

You can read our full story here.

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